Blogtable: What is your one, lasting memory of Manu Ginobili?
Each week, we ask our scribes to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day.
From NBA.com Staff
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If this is the end for Manu Ginobili, what is your one, lasting memory of the Argentine superstar?
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Steve Aschburner: There’s no single shot or playoff moment for me. Instead, it’s simply the way in which Ginobili has aged gracefully before our eyes, from rambunctious import to San Antonio Spurs elder statesman. At this late date, he retains the ability to turn playoff games with a clutch bucket, a steal or a charge taken. But he also has been a class act, stellar teammate, willing role player and a glaring oversight by those of us in the Pro Basketball Writers Association who never got him enough votes to win our Magic Johnson Award, presented annually to the great player who is great with the media. I voted for him again this year but, just in case, I’ve got to honor his worthiness here.
Shaun Powell: There are plenty of Ginobili highlights in the NBA, but the basketball memory for me is came in Athens at the 2004 Olympics, when he set the tone for Argentina with a buzzer-beater against Serbia and helped his country win gold. It was good to see Manu among his own, getting lots of love and being in his element. He became a national hero then and essentially punched his ticket to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame someday.
John Schuhmann: Being in the building for his final game with the national team at the Olympics in Rio two years ago. There’s a connection that international fans have with their athletes that we don’t have in the United States, and it’s always special to witness that first hand. Basketball isn’t the No. 1 sport in Argentina, but Argentines have a tremendous pride that one of their own, in addition to having led unprecedented success with the national team, became of the best and most decorated players in basketball history. As an Argentine-American, it was special for me to be in that building for what was an emotional moment for Ginobili and his countrymen.
Sekou Smith: Wow. The end of the road for Manu, huh? It is a reality. After all these years, all the wins and spectacular moments with both the Spurs and Argentina, it’s hard to pick just one lasting memory. But I’ll go with The 2005 Finals, when Manu was on fire in a great series against a Detroit Pistons team trying to win back-to-back titles. He helped those Spurs topple the Pistons in one of the best seven-game Finals we’ve seen. Tim Duncan was the Finals MVP, and deservedly so, but it could have just as easily been Ginobili. Manu’s style and unorthodox ballet on the court always served as a reminder to me how those who perform at the highest level — the truly special ones, like Ginobili — are true artists on the court.
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